Originally created 01/01/00

1999's worst quotes



Each year we publish the worst, most biased quotes of the past year, as determined by 44 judges recruited by the press watchdog organization, Media Research Center, headed by L. Brent Bozell.

What's significant about "Notable Quotables" is that they're said by so-called "objective" reporters, commentators or columnists who claim they're "not biased" -- that their distortions, lies and smear-mongering are all in service of "The Truth." Here are 1999's worst examples of journalism:

Dumbest Quote Award (so bad that it even embarrassed President Clinton who is not easily embarrassed):

"I have to bask in this moment, for a moment because I am here talking to the most powerful man on the planet, who was a poor boy from Arkansas...I am an African-American woman, grew up working class on the south side of Chicago, and this is a pretty special moment for me to be here talking to you. How does it feel talking to me? That I made it, too, when people said I wouldn't be able to."

-- ABC's Carole Simpson to President Clinton in a Nov. 11 World News Tonight interview.

Hate Speech Award:

"That herd of (impeachment) managers from the House; I mean, frankly, all they were missing was white sheets."

-- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on McLaughlin Group, PBS, Jan. 9.

I Am Woman Award (for Hillary Clinton worship):

"She clearly hated being thought of as just Bill Clinton's wife... Finally, last November 1998, Hillary Clinton showed the world what she could do on the campaign trail without him. Political mastery, every bit as dazzling as his. The thoughtful speech, unapologetically strong, emboldening Democrats, electing senators. So her friends say she has really earned this campaign, this moment... by standing, not by her man, but by herself."

-- Diane Sawyer, ABC's Good Morning America, March 12.

Media Hero Award:

"Yet his achievements as a senator have towered over his time, changing the lives of more Americans than (those who) remember the name Mary Jo Kopechne..."

-- Excerpt of New York Times reporter Adam Clymer's biography of Ted Kennedy in Time's Aug. 2 edition.

See No Evil Award (for burying the Juanita Broaddrick rape charge against Clinton):

"Now hold on. You know what Cliff? I'm not going to let you go there. We are not talking about this today. We're not going to turn that into this. I want to go around the horn a little bit. Cliff, wait a minute. Cliff, I'm going to stop you. I'm hosting the program. It is not a double standard. We have a clear focus today. I'm asking the questions."

-- Host David Gregory censoring Republican National Committee Communications Director Cliff May when May raised the Broaddrick charge during a roundtable discussion on allegations of past drug use by GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush. MSNBC, Aug. 19.

China Syndrome Award (for dismissing nuclear espionage:

"Where have you gone, Joe McCarthy, oh, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you... Yes folks, Republican efforts to warn Americans of the danger of fuzzy liberals in charge of the nation's political system -- and its nuclear secrets -- are about to go into overdrive."

-- Tony Karon, Time Daily on-line story, May 24.